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I can’t believe how fast this year is going. We are already a week away from midterms. The Barrett-Jackson car show, the Phoenix Open, and the Arabian Horse Show have come and gone. It’s getting ready to be spring, and we’ve only just had our first rain of the year. Probably one of the more perfect times in our corner of the desert, and what people fall in love with when they come for a visit. Especially with the kind of winter everyone has been suffering through this year! Polar vortex indeed.
It makes me glad to be here, but at the same time the snowbirds glory in our 80° February, what they don’t realize is that even for us, it’s unseasonably warm – and dry. It harkens to a tough year ahead for fire season, drought, habitat loss, and stress on wildlife. Not to mention a scorching May – September. I’m trying not to think of that now, and just revel in the glory of living someplace snow-and-windchill free.
I feel a blog re-vamp coming on (again), so look for some changes coming up. While I have loved using WordPress.org, and having the customization freedom it offers, I am frustrated by the fact that when I read through some of my posts, half the time the pictures don’t show up (WTF?). And the whole hosting situation is a pain in the rear. So I’m looking to move the whole operation over to another web hosting site, hopefully with lots of improvements.
I’m taking Austin Kleon‘s advice from STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST, and stealing ideas for how to make this site better. Austin sends out occasional newsletters with a quick update on his projects, along with links to interesting things he’s found on the internet recently. Alex Yeske from Dreams + Jeans blogs beautiful pictures and product recommendations. I really like how both of these bloggers give a succinct post, paired with images, and suggestions from around the web, and hope to implement their best practices here.
I’d also like to make to make this site better for YOU, my readers. Any comments? Suggestions on improvements? I’d love to hear them in the comments section below.
A lot has been going on. I have been taking 17 credit hours this semester, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve worked so hard and been so happy in that work. I’m telling you right now: If you’ve been in a slump, or maybe want to advance in your career but lack of a degree is holding you back; GO TO SCHOOL, even if it’s just one class at a time.
There’s nothing that will revive you more than feeding your brain. It’s the perfect time in the economy, too. Things are starting to bounce back, but it’s slow going and business is still slow enough that if you wanted to, you could squeeze in a morning or evening class. Some of them are scheduled to only meet once a week, if that’s all you can commit. There are loads of scholarships available, and enrollment is down, so they WANT you to go to school.
But assuming you can afford one class per semester – maybe two – what would you take? What has always piqued your interest? Ancient Egypt? Art History 101- Prehistoric to the Gothic, or World History to 1500.
What have you always wondered more about? How to really use Excel, so you can go up a paygrade at work? CIS 105 or Excel Level I.
Or, have you always wondered why rocks look like this? Take Geology 101! I liked it so much I took 102 as well.
Why don’t you do something for you? You’ve always wanted to try painting. Remember how much you loved watching Bob Ross? I recommend taking Color Theory first. It’s been a challenge, but a good one!
Think about it.
Besides school, we’ve had a few birthdays
and lost our two best friends :(
Butter (aka Best Dog in the World) was 13, and Pepper (2nd Best Dog in the World) was 12. They passed away within a month of each other.
Our new girl, Juniper, was a birthday surprise, and missed meeting Pepper by two days, but kept Butter company for the last month. She’s adorable, and smart, and keeps us all on our toes.
The horses have gotten hairy. They got a post-Halloween treat.
Keira is still for sale. It’s strange, I think she must be waiting for the perfect home. I’ve had several people interested in her, and a few offers, but they all fell through for various reasons. All she needs is time and attention. She’s super smart and sweet, and responds well to training (see video on her page). I’m so surprised she hasn’t sold yet, because she’s pretty close to perfect. But that’s just my opinion ;)
I gave my first class lecture
and we’ve had some rain.
Coming up, I’ve got a post on a popular author, a round-up of my projects for the semester, an out-of-town writing conference (so exciting!), and after Christmas, I get to go visit my family. Please continue to keep my sister-in-law and our parents in your thoughts. This is our first holiday without John, and he is greatly missed.
Here and now, it’s holiday time in the desert, cool and crisp in the morning, sunny in the afternoon.
I’m thankful for it all – my family, our health & home, the opportunities we have.
And to you, for taking the time to visit.
If you’d like to do more online browsing, please stop by my friends’ sites:
We finally had a good soaking rain. It has been over 3 months since we had any precipitation, and the whole place – the house, the yard, the whole city for that matter, had been covered in layers of dry gritty dust. There was a lifeless pallor over everything, keeping the color and vitality of the desert hidden from view.
While everyone in the rest of the country gets hammered by storms, here’s us:
And then I’m sure this doesn’t help the dust situation – summer dust storms known as Haboobs. (Yes that really is what they are called, and yes, they really do look this big and freaky)
So when we hear we are getting rain after almost 4 months, we kinda freak out. All the weather people have their sleeves rolled up, the maps are flashing all over the place, and weather is the LEAD STORY.
What is just an average storm in any other part of the country is an event for us. I mean, it didn’t just rain…it rained for two whole days!!
I loved it.
Sat in my jammies drinking coffee all Saturday morning, then actually got my rain jacket out of the closet (yes, it had DUST on it!), and went out Christmas shopping.
In the rain!
It was kind of exciting. Everyone had jackets and/or hats, and some even had this fancy type of nylon water shield that they would hold over head. You see them a lot in British shows.
But the cool this was, everyone was in a good mood. And mellow. No grumpiness, obnoxious yapping or complaining…just cool, you know? The rainy day vibe.
The horses loved it, too. They stood out there, just soaking it in, and getting good and muddy.
And then I woke up Sunday morning, to
Let’s see what else we can find around the ol’ place…
Thanks for hanging out with me on my foggy desert morning! I hope you are enjoying some crisp fresh air, wherever you are.
We have FINALLY gotten some much needed rain down here in the desert. It is making for some very humid don’t-even-bother-straightening-your-hair days, but things have cooled off ever so slightly and the dust has been kept to a minimum.
There is a certain smell that springs from newly damp desert ground, but I suppose it smells just as good as any other place when long overdue rains arrive. I actually put it into the first chapter of my book. Here’s a peek:
The western sky was the kind of blue that comes after a cleansing summer rain, and the breeze still smelled of damp sage and pine. Leather reins lay slack in her fingers, resting on the saddlehorn in front of her. Closing her eyes, Ruby breathed in the beautiful day.
You’ll have to wait to read more, but I’ll try to pop in a few tidbits here and there. Until then, enjoy some recent photos of the girls (click images to enlarge):
You know, I usually refuse to think of myself as getting old, but the changes that have taken place in the world over the years remind me that – well, according to my kids and technology – I’m old.
One such example is the Sears Wish Book. If you grew up in the 1970’s, you probably received a Sears Wish Book every year. And by the time your parents took you to see Santa, that catalog had been flipped through, dog-eared and well worn. You’d gotten a chance to study each and every item in the TOYS section, crossed out the most unnecessary, put stars next to the ultimate must-haves, and had your list ready to go.
“Hey Barbie, get away from my horse. And give me that hat while you’re at it.”
So what do younger kids browse through nowadays? (Nowadays. What a dumb word. I might as well carry a cane and start saying “whippersnapper”) Anyways, what is it – Amazon? Best Buy? Ebay? Etsy?
This whole idea of the Wish Book came to me while I was browsing the internet recently, looking at – what else – horses.
Now, I am not a huge breeder by any means but as a part of the Gypsy Horse community, I do like to keep in touch with other breeders and owners and see who’s doing what with their horses. Stallions get bought and sold and go to new barns, and it’s interesting to see which mares get bred to which stallions, and the foals they produce. There are also plenty of mature horses for sale that are broke to ride or drive and ready to go.
(This collection is my idea alone, and these folks won’t even know I’ve featured their horse until after this is written. I am receiving nothing from this except the pleasure of spreading the word. If you are interested in any of these horses, please contact the owner. Keep in mind this is a very small selection of the many horses available for sale.)
So, let’s take a look at a few, shall we? (read all the way to the end for a surprise)
Gypsy Horse Wish Book!
Dugan, 2007 Black Blagdon stallion.
What a cutie! I am such a sucker for theblagdons, and I love a white face on a horse!
This has been an extremely conservative list but for me to cover all of the horses and breeders out there I’d need another week of browsing…not that that’s something I wouldn’t enjoy, but my laundry is piling up, and the boys are looking at me with those poor hungry faces.
Lord knows they’d die if they ever had to feed themselves.
So if the above links weren’t enough for you, here are a few more to check out:
Another UK breeder, who owned the famous Tumbler stallion
I’m currently working on a drool-worthy, eye-candy Fantasy pick of Gypsy Horses from all over. Until that’s ready, I thought I’d share a site I found recently. These are photos of horse drawn wagons from a collection by Traveller Dave.
When asked for permission to use his photos, Dave ended his reply with this:
For those who live in houses, it’s a romantic lifestyle…but day to day reality is very different & using modern roads amongst thousands of intolerant stupid car drivers is always a risk !!
Thanks Dave. Keep on truckin’ :)
Please visit Dave’s site for loads more pics. Links at bottom of post.
Normally I would have more organic links, and links from each picture to its url of origin, but Blogger is giving me some trouble. Hey, Blogger? You ever hear the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?